The Public Education Unit of the Northeast Region of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) office has engaged the people of Badala community, Sokuala Section, Diang Chiefdom, in Koinadugu District. The meeting, which was part of the Commission’s relentless efforts to prevent and curb corruption, took place at the local marketplace.
Speaking to the stakeholders and other members of the community, ACC District Monitor in Koinadugu, Jonathan Massaquoi, underlined the Commission’s drive to raise extensive awareness about corruption and its corrosive effects on communities across the country. He explained the need for local communities to actively take part in the campaign against graft, while stressing that although the ACC takes the lead, the citizenry should resolve to always solidly support the campaign.
He added that the Commission puts premium on prevention strategies, amongst which are forging partnerships and educating the public on how to withstand and report corruption. Massaquoi further explained that the recent deployment of monitors in the Districts by the Commission creates an opportunity for the public to easily report corruption, in addition to access information on its operations.
In his statement, Abdul Karim Bangura, ACC Public Education Officer, informed the people of Badala that corruption has hampered the development of the country with prolonged impact on the socio-economic status of the citizenry. Inequality in access to justice and public services are among many negative effects of corruption, according to the officer. He however assured the community that the ACC has made considerable strides in the past three years to make corruption a perilous and priceless venture.
Among other national and international laurels, the Public Education Officer made known that in 2020,the ACC was credited the best Public Sector Institution in the country at the Diaspora Focus’ National Development Awards. In the same year Sierra Leone scored 81% in the ‘Control of Corruption’ Ranking, which positions her to benefit hundreds of millions of dollars from the Millennium Corporation Challenge (MCC) compact grant. Before Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. took the reins of the anti-graft agency in 2018, the country had in 2017 scored 49% in the MCC ranking.
Mr. Bangura encouraged the stakeholders of Badala to support the campaign against graft and set commendable examples in their respective positives for the rest of the community. Transparency and accountability, he added, are values which significantly help to prevent corruption in the Public Sector, assuring his audience that the ACC will drastically dwarf corruption with active community support. ‘The fight against corruption is every Sierra Leonean’s concern. Therefore take earnest interest in the campaign and always report corruption to the Commission by dialing 077985985/077986986 or 515 on either Orange or Africell Network,’ he concluded.
Chief Kelfa Marah, who had assisted to coordinate the engagement, said in response to the anti-corruption message that he had been enlightened on corruption and what to do to curb it in his community. He thanked the Commission, on behalf of his people, for its achievements and recommended other communities in Diang Chiefdom to benefit from similar interactive meetings.
The chief disclosed that his community had suffered from corruption and injustice relating to the recurrent conflicts between cattle owners and farmers, but did not know how to seek recourse to deal with the alleged acts of corruption. Moving forward, he said, the ACC would be informed about every act of corruption in his community.
Similarly, the Youth Leader of the Badala alleged that the sum of Le 100,000/= is paid for bail; and, in the event conflicting parties mutually decide to revolve a given matter at a community level, Le 50,000/= is paid by each party. Foray Tarawallie, however, said he felt relieved and confident to report corruption to the ACC henceforth.
A question-and-answer session climaxed the meeting.